Billionaire & Conservative donor, David Koch Dies

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David Koch, the billionaire libertarian who gave more than $1 billion to charitable causes but was better known for using his money to reshape U.S. politics, has died. He was 79 years old.

His family released a statement Friday saying, “While we mourn the loss of our hero, we remember his iconic laughter, insatiable curiosity, and gentle heart.”

Mr. Koch, whose net worth of about $50.5 billion tied him with his brother as the world’s 11th-richest person in Forbes magazine rankings, gained most of his wealth from a 42% stake in Wichita, Kan.-based Koch Industries Inc., which has interests ranging from oil to beef to paper and is the second-largest closely held U.S. company according to the WSJ.

The brothers, who had majority control of Koch Industries, were tied as 11th richest in the world in a ranking by Forbes. At the time of his death, David Koch was worth $42.4 billion.

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